Arshad Khan, popularly known as the “chaiwala” (tea seller), whose viral photo from 2016 made him an internet sensation, recently appeared as a guest on the Startup Pakistan Podcast.
In the sixteenth episode of the podcast titled ‘From Tea Seller to Successful Businessman,’ the host engaged in a conversation with the young entrepreneur. Arshad shared his life story, recounting his sudden rise to fame, the media attention, and job offers from the entertainment industry that followed his viral internet moment. He also discussed his journey toward becoming a successful business owner.
During the 42-minute episode, Arshad narrated how he became an overnight sensation when a photographer captured his image while making tea at a roadside tea shop. He expressed his confusion and disbelief when the media approached him for interviews after his picture spread widely on social media.
After briefly exploring opportunities in the entertainment industry and working as a model and performer, Arshad realized that a career in media and entertainment was not his calling. Instead, he decided to leverage his fame by venturing into entrepreneurship and opening a café. Arshad’s primary motivation behind launching his own café in Islamabad was to create job opportunities for people and empower them to support their households.
While discussing his business, Arshad mentioned, “One café would have been enough for me, but I launched a whole brand because I want multiple households to benefit from my cafes, not just me and my household.” He emphasized that his business endeavors were not solely driven by financial gain but rather by a desire to provide livelihoods for numerous individuals, considering the lack of job opportunities in Pakistan.
In June 2023, Arshad Khan’s Café Chaiwala expanded internationally by opening its first branch on East London’s Ilford Lane, marking a significant milestone for the brand that initially gained fame in Pakistan. Café Chaiwala already had a local presence in cities like Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, and Swat.